Interval Training for the Win.

Being a former college athlete means I ran my fair share of sprints and miles.   My friends and I joke that we were on the track team when really we were on the softball team.   I’m sure my coach had her reasons for making us run but all I could remember was it felt like a punishment and I dreaded the times we ran and feared what was in our future.  It was rather traumatic.

Needless to say I needed to do something to stay in shape after college so I dabbled with jogging on the treadmill.  Dabbled.  I ran a mile here and there and let me tell you that was quite an accomplishment.  You would think I ran a marathon.

Now, at 40, I find it incredibly ironic that the most satisfying part of my day is gearing up the unknown work out at Orangetheory Fitness that lies before us.    We find out what kind of workout we are going to focus on when the trainer addresses us right before class. Our options are  strength, power, endurance or all three but we can all be assured of is there will be some form of running/sprinting/walking/ hills on the treadmills and intervals galore.  The unwritten rules of OTF are line up on the left side of the hall if you want a treadmill and the right side if you want a rower.   At all times, I’m on the left— counting the people in front of me hoping someone doesn’t take a hard left to the treadmills or that I’m one of the twelve lucky ones who want to get it over with.  That’s the truth.

But let me tell you something…  The best part is when I reach my goal and actually finish the work out.   There are usually 2-3 blocks of intervals- a combination of carefully selected intervals at a base, push and all out pace with varying intervals of 30 seconds to 3 minutes.  For example:  2 minute push, followed by a 1 minute base, repeat, followed by a 1 minute push and a 45 second all out.  On a 4 percent incline.  They are challenging but what I absolutely love is that they are all very do-able.  I’ve learned that I can do anything for 2 minutes. Sometimes its not pretty,  but I finish.

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that I run way more at OTF than I ever would on my own. Here’s why:

  1. History has proven that my efforts at the gym, if any, push me only to the one mile marathon marker.  Wow.   Impressive.
  2. Intervals break up the blocks so I generally run 2.0 plus miles at every class. (That’s just the running part!)
  3. The heart rate monitor doesn’t lie and keeps me accountable.  I think I am working out hard. Wrong!   I am only in the green zone.  PICK. IT. UP.  AND. GET. TO. ORANGE says every trainer.  Suddenly my all out becomes my base and I  killing it in a perfectly wonderful way that I never thought was possible. Because that was the old me and my commitment to what Orangetheory Fitness does for me, my sanity and my health has everything to do with it.

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